Chad’s Morning Brief: Kay Bailey Hutchison and the ACHIEVE Act, GOP Not Happy With Susan Rice, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of November 28, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.
1. ACHIEVE Act (link)
Republicans have their own version of the DREAM Act that was introduced yesterday by outgoing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and co-authored by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.
The bill, called the ACHIEVE Act, is co-authored by U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona. It would create a new visa system affecting “young people who intend to pursue a technical or college degree, or serve in the U.S. military,” according to a statement on Hutchison’s website.
Hutchison, who will leave Washington next year after serving in the U.S. Senate since 1993, concedes that the legislation is not comprehensive immigration reform but says it is nonetheless a “step forward in addressing a time-sensitive issue.”
The bill is evidence that the Republican Party is becoming more focused on working toward a solution on immigration following this month’s general election, which analysts have said favored Democrats due, in part, to the GOP’s harsh stances on immigration. Hutchison made clear, however, that the proposal does not guarantee citizenship.
“Many young people in this country are here illegally through no fault of their own. Relegating a potentially productive portion of the population to the shadows is neither humane nor good economic or social policy,” the senators said in a joint statement. “Only individuals who have abided by our nation’s laws, while residing within its borders, would be eligible for continued legal status, and there is no automatic path to citizenship.”
The bill has similarities to the current “deferred action” policy put in place by President Obama this year, but it’s not clear how the proposal would work along with that policy.
Under the deferred action, immigrants who arrived in the country illegally before they were 16 and who were younger than 31 as of the June 15 announcement may be granted relief from deportation proceedings and a two-year work permit. They must have graduated or be enrolled in school, have earned a GED or have been honorably discharged from the military. They must have also lived in the country since June 15, 2007, and have never been convicted of a serious misdemeanor, three misdemeanors or a felony.
Under the Kyl-Hutchison proposal, applicants must have lived in the country for five years; entered the country before the age of 14; have not have committed a felony, more than one misdemeanor or a crime of moral turpitude; and must not have a final order of removal pending. They must also know English and have a working knowledge of the U.S. government, according to Hutchison’s website.
2. GOP Still Not Happy With Susan Rice (link)
Well who didn’t see this one coming? Republican Senators who met with Susan Rice are still unhappy. In fact, they feel worse about her and the administration than they did before meeting with Rice.
Republican senators finally got their opportunity Tuesday for a face-to-face talk with Ambassador Susan Rice about events related to the fatal attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, but said they left feeling more confused and “disturbed” than before the meeting.
“I am more disturbed now than before,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who met with Rice for about 90 minute on Capitol Hill.
Graham was joined at the meeting by acting CIA Director Michael Morell and Sens. Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire, and John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I’m significantly troubled by the answers we got and didn’t get,” said McCain, Arizona.
The lawmakers said the meeting covered questions about security at the U.S. Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi before the Sept. 11 attacks in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed and about Rice’s comments afterward.
Rice, U.S. envoy to the United Nations, went on network television five days after the attacks to say the strikes were “spontaneous” and seemed to grow out of a protest of an anti-Islamic video.
However, reports later revealed no evidence of a protest outside the consulate, and U.S. intelligence officials later said the strike appeared to be a pre-planned terrorist attack.
Rice has maintained that she was using talking points provided to her from unclassified intelligence reports based on the best available information.
She acknowledged Tuesday that information was not accurate.
“In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: There was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi,” Rice said in a written statement.
“Neither I nor anyone else in the administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process, and the administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved.”
I don’t think that Susan Rice set out to lie to the American people. She was the fall person. The administration wanted to lie about the attack and sent Susan Rice to the wolves. She was part of the cover-up whether she knew it or not. There are consequences to that and it’s not racist or sexist to say that. If liberals want to blame someone, blame Obama. The administration told her a lie to tell to the American people.
3. Recasting Mexico (link)
Mexico is in need of a little PR help or rebranding and that is exactly what its new President wants to do.
It is the flip side of the Mexico that the world is familiar with — not the one in which drug barons hang bodies from bridges, evade the law in elaborate hideaways and funnel billions of dollars in narcotics across the border and around the world.
In this other Mexico, emergent but taking hold in several pockets of the country like this one, high-skilled jobs are plentiful, industrial plants churn out increasingly sophisticated products and families take on shades of middle-class life, with flat-screen televisions, new cars and homes a cut or more above those of their parents.
This more prosperous, parallel universe is what Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, plans to highlight when he meets with President Obama on Tuesday, part of his vow to shift relations with the United States toward improving the economy and loosening up trade.
His advisers are careful to say that they will continue to work closely with the United States on fighting drugs and organized crime, and Mr. Peña Nieto has promised Mexicans that he will reduce drug violence.
But Mr. Peña Nieto, who takes office this weekend, has made it clear that Mexico’s poor image abroad has slowed the country’s economic growth. His team plans a strong push to “modernize” trade deals, speed up or add new crossings at the border for commerce, court foreign investment to take advantage of vast, newly discovered shale gas fields near the United States border, and generate more quality jobs like the ones here in Querétaro.
“In the next years, the great challenge is to succeed in making these kinds of examples multiply very quickly,” he said this month.
Mexico fell into a deep recession in 2009 when American demand for Mexican-manufactured imports collapsed. But the recovery under President Felipe Calderón has been notable, with growth expected to reach almost 4 percent this year — roughly twice as fast as in the United States.
Even in Mexico, it’s all about the economy. Yeah, and still the drug violence.
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